Students in the capital have difficulty accessing free, cool drinking water, the federation of parents’ associations of primary schools in Nicosia said on Wednesday.

The federation called for the re-launch and completion of a programme aiming to provide cool and clean water to school units.

The programme was initially announced by the education ministry in 2017. According to the Federation’s announcement, seven years later, the programme remains unimplemented.

“Our students continue to face problems accessing cool and clean water during the school day, which we consider unacceptable,” it stated.

Citing an education ministry announcement dating September 1, 2017, the federation said the ministry begun the installation of special systems for cleaning and cooling running water in schools in that school year.  Installation work would initially start from the most populous school units and gradually expand to other schools, the ministry’s announcement, as quoted by the Federation, stated.

According to the organised parents, the implementation of this new policy, as outlined by the ministry, would bring numerous benefits, including children’s access to clean, safe, and properly temperature-controlled water throughout the day.

This move would relieve parents from having to spend money on bottled water, reduce the use of plastic bottles, and discourage students from consuming other, less healthy beverages.

“We urgently demand the restart and completion of this program, prioritising the health and well-being of our children,” the federation said.

“It is essential for the promises made in 2017 to be fulfilled and to ensure that all students have access to cool, clean, and healthy water at school,” they noted, adding that they expect an immediate response from the competent authorities.